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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home Party’

Jewish Home to Likud: Ball in Bibi’s Court

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The criticism leveled by senior Likud officials against Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, accusing him of violating his promises to his own voters, have received this a quick response from Bennet’s people.

“Netanyahu is the one who cheated his constituents,” said a senior official in the party that won 12 seats in the elections, insisting it is inconceivable that Bennett would compromise his principles. “Anyone who thinks that Bennett will fold just doesn’t know him. He has nerves of steel. There is no chance he will blink first.”

Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked on Sunday attacked the conduct of the Likud party in the coalition negotiations, saying that “If Netanyahu wanted to – he could quickly form a government with us in it.”

According to Shaked, “the Likud statements, as if our understandings with Yair Lapid constitutes a deception of voters, shows contempt for the public’s intelligence.”

Shaked added that “despite the mudslinging campaign against us before the elections, we recommended Netanyahu to form the next government. The campaign is over, stop attacking the Jewish home and just form a government.”

Meanwhile, another senior Jewish Home official has told Arutz 7 that the Religious Zionist movement is not Netanyahu’s pet.

“Since the elections, Likud has been pushing us away and excluding us. Initially, there were those devastating attacks against our rabbis, then Netanyahu’s whole conduct was an attempt to humiliate us. He preferred to meet with Tzipi Livni, Yacimovich and Zahava Gal’on before getting to the Jewish Home.”

Bennett’s relationship with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, another spot the Likud has been attacking, was described by Jewish Home officials as a strong alliance. “The person who should take pride in forging the relationship between us and Lapid is none other than Netanyahu. He has pushed us there. His actions will keep closer and his actions will push us away. The way they’ve been pulling the rope, they’re just bringing us even closer to Lapid.”

The same sources have estimated that “Netanyahu wanted a leftist government with Livni, Kadima and the Haredim. But the election results forced on him a different government. We have principles, and as long as they’re not met, we will not accept and not even discuss government portfolios. Their entire attitude is derogatory. Not only to Jewish Home, but to the entire National Religious public which has followed Netanyahu for years.”

The Future Coalition and the Israeli Right

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

So the final results are almost completely tallied and it’s pretty bad for the right-wing, especially Likud-Beitenu, despite the fact that the Benjamin Netanyahu will likely form the next government.

The only threat to Netanyahu forming the government is a joint Shas-Lapid boycott. Likud-Beitenu and Jewish Home comprise 43 seats. Shas and UTJ (17) bring it up to 61 or Lapid (19) will bring it up to 62. Only if Lapid, Shas and UTJ (or even Lapid and Shas) boycott Netanyahu will Netanyahu not be able to form the government. That scenario would also require Livni and Yachimovitch and Lapid to agree on making one of these three their candidate for Prime Minister, which is even more unlikely. Also, Shas publicly endorsed Netanyahu for Prime Minister in an advertisement prior to the elections, apparently counting on the fact that Lapid will compromise on a universal draft.

Nevertheless, for Netanyahu to form a stable coalition (closer to 70 seats) he would need to Shas and/or UTJ compromise with a plan to draft Hareidim, as he said in his “victory” speech last night that he plans to make a priority and because Lapid is now too large to ignore, especially relative to a weak Likud.

Kadima – which escaped what would have been a well-deserved political death – could be another leftist party which Netanyahu could bring on board to strengthen the coalition, especially if Shas will not join.  This would bring the coalition up to 64 seats, that’s still not that stable, but at least Kadima won’t be able to ask for much with it’s meager two seats.

That would mean giving Mofaz something that Mofaz would feel will make him and Kadima relevant until the next elections, perhaps some lessor ministry or as a minister without portfolio. (Mofaz’s other options to survive through the next elections are (a) to somehow re-establish himself outside the government, which is unlikely; (b) to rejoin the Likud with his tail between his legs, which is also unlikely considering how he treated Netanyahu after Netanyahu brought him into the coalition before; (c) merge with another left-wing party which would be equally embarrassing for him and also unprofitable for the other party; or, (d) wait for Olmert to return and save him).

Some other thoughts:

* The success of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid in garnering 19 mandates, making it the second largest of all parties is the biggest surprise of the election. It’s almost twice as high as Lapid polled before the elections and 19 more than Lapid had before as this is his first election. Like Liberman before, Lapid will likely be Netanyahu’s major partner as under almost any coalition figuration Yesh Atid can bring down the coalition.

* The Jewish Home’s success was not as great as predicted but it was still quite an achievement to garner 12 Knesset seats. The joint Jewish Home-National Union list represented only seven seats in the outgoing Knesset and only a few months ago hoped to get up to 10 seats in the next Knesset. Kudos to them for running a great campaign, including Anglo candidate Jeremy Gimpel who chaired the English-speakers campaign and Jeremy Saltan who was the English-speaker’s campaign manager, despite the fact that Gimpel himself will not be in the next Knesset.

* The Likud-Beitenu’s drop from 42 seats in the outgoing Knesset to 31 in the next is the second biggest surprise. Liberman said last night that he does not regret the merger: Of course he doesn’t, his party only dropped to 11 seats in the Knesset, from 15, despite the fact that he has been indicted, based on testimony from one of his former lieutenants and was absent during the campaign.

The Likud on the other hand lost its upward momentum and now comprises only 20 Knesset seats (only one more than newcomer Lapid). That’s quite an embarrassment for the what is supposed to be the leading party in Israel.

Not that Liberman/the merger should take all the blame. The campaign was terrible from almost every angle – functionally and strategically – and Netanyahu’s no-risk political philosophy may also be to blame for failing to motivate new voters, even though it is good for managing a coalition and providing much-needed stability to the country.

* The “Right” as a whole lost out. Instead of 65 seats (or more, even up to 71 according to some polls), it now has 61. And, remember, the right-wing bloc is not necessarily all right-wing. UTJ is only right-wing on religious issues. On Judea and Samaria, standing up to the international community and economic issues, it is to the left. Shas is also to the left on economic issues and with Aryeh Deri back at the helm it is not clearly to the right when it comes to security-territory issues. Even without Deri, Shas was the prop that kept the Olmert government together after the Second Lebanon War. So really the Right has only 43 reliable seats (Likud-Beitenu + Jewish Home).

The Foreign Media’s ‘Rightward Shift’ Never Happened

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Almost final results from Israel’s Central Election Commission show that the Guardian mantra – parroted by nearly every commentator and reporter who’s been providing ‘analysis’ on the Israeli elections – warning of a hard and dangerous shift to the right will prove to have been entirely inaccurate.

In the final days before the vote, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood seemed certain that the elections would bring “a more hawkish and pro-settler government,” and Guardian Middle East Editor Ian Black warned that “Netanyahu [was] poised to…head a more right-wing and uncompromising government than Israel has ever seen before.”

Rachel Shabi predicted that Israel would elect “the most right-wing government in its history“, while Jonathan Freedland expressed gloom that diaspora Jews would have to watch “the centre of gravity… shift so far rightward [in Israel] that Netanyahu and even Lieberman will look moderate by comparison.”

However, based on preliminary reports, not only does it appear that there has been absolutely no rightward shift, but the makeup of the next Knesset may be slightly more left than the current one.

While in 2009 the right-wing bloc bested the center-left bloc by 65-55, the results of this election show that the new Knesset will have a narrower (61-59) right-bloc advantage.

The top three parties will be Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu with 31 Knesset seats, the centrist Yesh Atid with 19, and the leftist Labor Party with between 16-18. The rightist party, Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett, came in fourth and will have 12, while Shas, the ultra-orthodox party, came in fifth with 11.

Some Israeli commentators are already predicting that Binyamin Netanyahu will attempt to form a centrist or even a right-center-left coalition.

Though the final results aren’t expected to be announced until the early hours of Wednesday, a few things are certain:

The Guardian and other foreign media invested heavily in promoting their desired political narrative of a Jewish state lurching dangerously towards the right.

They got it completely wrong.

Visit CifWatch.

My Vote Won’t Help Sell Out the Land of Israel

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

A reader asked me who I am voting for and why.

Once upon a time, there was a group of people who wanted to rob a bank, but they needed a van and driver. They approached a man with a van, and invited him to join them, offering to reward him lucratively for his services. He told them that he was against robbing banks and he couldn’t accept stolen money. So they promised to pay him up front, not with money stolen from the bank. When he agreed, the group finished all their plans for the robbery, paying the driver up front. When the time came, the driver drove them to the bank and dropped them off at the corner. Seeing a policeman walking down the street, the driver quickly sped off, wanting nothing to do with the robbery, just as he told the group at the beginning. Eventually, all the thieves were arrested, along with the driver, who insisted he hadn’t participated in the robbery at all. “I’m innocent. I’m innocent,” he protested, but the judge found him guilty along with the others.

I am voting for “Otzma L’Yisrael” because I don’t want to be part of a robbery. What robbery? It is no secret that the Likud and Yisrael Betanu are in favor of the Two-State Solution, which would steal a giant chunk of Israel from the Jews and give it to the Arabs. The Two-State Solution is a part of their platform. So I can’t vote for them.

The Jewish Home party, “HaBayit HaYehudi,” has announced that they want to be a part of the coalition in the next government that Bibi will form. Even though they are against the Two-State Solution, they want to “influence from within.” They will probably stipulate in the coalition agreement that if the government enters into negotiations with the Arabs and decides to actualize the Two-State Solution plan, the Jewish Home party will be free to leave the coalition before the treaty is signed, just like the driver who took off before the robbery took place. In the meantime, for helping the coalition get to the signing ceremony, the Jewish Home will receive ample reward in the form of government positions, and money for worthwhile projects. But when it comes time for the photos of Bibi shaking hands with Mohammed, the members of the Jewish Home party will all hold up their hands and say, “Our hands are clean. We were against the robbery from the beginning!”

This scenario has happened before. The Mafdal party, the forerunner of the Jewish Home, was a member of the Sharon government leading up to the Disengagement from Gush Katif. They held the coalition in place while Sharon craftily arranged the robbery, then pulled out of the government when the end was already a fait accompli. Bibi did the very same thing, voting against the Disengagement on the final day, when the battle was already lost, after having helped the government get there, so he could hold up his hands and say, “I had nothing to do with the robbery.”

I don’t want to help anyone rob banks, and I certainly I don’t want to help anyone sell the Land of Israel down the drain. So I can’t vote for the Likud, and I can’t vote for the good people in the Jewish Home party, even though they are against giving Israel away to the Arabs, and even though they intend to pull out of Bibi’s government just before the robbery, because by sitting in such a government, they will be accomplices to the theft. And even if such a treaty is never signed, I still can’t vote for a party which will be a part of a government that advocates giving away the Land of God for “peace,” because, as Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook taught his students, even talking about surrendering the Land of Israel is as forbidden as eating pork.

So I’m voting for Power for Israel – “Otzma L’Yisrael,” because they don’t want to sit in a government that has given a phony Kashrut certificate to Two-State Solutions that steal from the Jewish People, violate the Torah, and make a mockery of the word of God.

Settler ‘Founding Fathers’ Supports Likud Beytenu (Video)

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

As Israel enters the final days before the elections on Tuesday, several leading officials in Likud-Beytenu have voiced concern over the split in votes on the Right between Likud-Beytenu and the Bayit Yehudi’s party.  Last week, Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin said, “If we don’t reach around 40 seats and there’s no big gap between us and the left, the President is likely to choose Yechimovich.”

Indeed there is historical precedent for such concerns. In 1999 and 1992, the Right lost out to the left-wing governments of Barak and Rabin respectively.  They lost because the Right was splintered by parties who detracted from the Likud.

The results were the Oslo and Camp David accords in which Israel offered everything for peace and in return, on both occasions, was rewarded with waves of Palestinian terrorism and the murder of innocent Israelis.

Adding their voices to this concern are two of the key heads of the Settler movement.  Zvi Hendel in fact, one of the founders of the Gush Katif, and evacuated from his home during the Disengagement has said that the only way to secure the Land of Israel is with a strong Likud-Beytenu.

Moreover, Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council has said that he was a key engineer of the efforts which brought down Shamir’s government in 1992.  He says in a video posted online that this led to the Left taking power.

Rabbi Ben Dahan, Jewish Home: I’ve Worked Hard on Behalf of Women

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, the former director general of rabbinic courts in Israel – a position he held for more than two decades – is running for Knesset in next week’s Israeli election. He is number four on the Bayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party, which according to polls should win between 12 and 15 seats. The Jewish Press interviewed him in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Press: Tell us a little about your life – family background, education, etc.

Rabbi Ben Dahan: I was born in Morocco in 1954 and immigrated to Israel with my parents when I was two years old. I grew up in Beer Sheva. I am the oldest of five boys, and since my mother worked outside the home, each of us sons had to help with the housework. This was much appreciated by my wife, Tova Taybowitz, a daughter of Holocaust survivors whom I met in the Bnei Akiva youth movement.

I received my BA in business administration from Touro College and my Masters in public affairs from Hebrew University. My semicha was conferred on me by Rabbi Shalom Mashash, zt”l, chief rabbi of Jerusalem and from Rabbis Avraham Shapira, zt”l, and Mordechai Eliyahu, zt”l, chief rabbis of Israel.

I served in the Israel Defense Forces in the artillery corps, rising to the rank of major.

My wife and I were among the founders of the yishuv Chispin in the Golan Heights. At that time we were only eleven families living on the Syrian border. Today Chispin is a thriving village.

We have nine children, six girls and three boys.

How did you launch your career as a public sector rabbi?

When Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was appointed chief rabbi of Israel in 1983, he asked me to manage his office. I moved to Beit El in the Shomron with my family and worked for the chief rabbi. In 1989 I was appointed director general of the rabbinic courts, the batei din, a position directly under the chief rabbi himself. This put me in charge of all batei din in the country. I held this position for twenty-one years.

When I started out in that position, the rabbinic courts were a small part of the Religious Ministry. I turned it into an independent office and eventually succeeded in having it become its own unit in the Ministry of Justice. This gave me the opportunity to make many changes and implement many improvements in how the rabbinic courts were run.

For example?

On the simplest level, when I started there were very few women working in the rabbinic courts. When positions opened, if there was a qualified woman for the job I was inclined to hire her. When I left, more than forty percent of people working in the religious courts all over the country were women.

You’re known as someone who has focused on the problem of agunot.

I want to clarify the terms regarding women who are agunot and women who are refused a get.

In America and elsewhere outside Israel, the term agunah is used to refer to any woman who cannot get a get from her husband, and thus remains chained to a dead marriage.

In Israel, agunah refers to a woman whose husband is missing. He may be dead or he may have just run away and disappeared and no one knows where he is. We use the term mesoravot get for the women whose husbands refuse to give their wives a get even though they are no longer living together.

This difference in terminology has resulted in a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresenting of facts, especially when statements attributed to me are translated.

Concerning my work with agunot, when I entered office there were approximately five hundred women in Israel whose husbands were missing. I felt we needed to hire private investigators whose sole expertise was in finding missing people. Nothing like this had ever been done before, and it was a hard job for me to get the necessary funds allocated for this. But I made the argument that as a Jewish country we had to do whatever it takes to free these women.

We succeeded in finding many of these men and getting gittin for their wives. In my twenty-one years as head of the rabbinic courts, more than one thousand women in this category were freed through our finding their runaway husbands and delivering the get to them.

Voters Beware!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Someone asked me why don’t I write about Israeli politics like so many other Internet scribes? My answer is: Why should I? Most of my readers live in America, and they have as much influence concerning what goes on in Israel as I have about the type of food the elephants receive in the Central Park Zoo. So why should I write about the political scene in Israel? To show how knowledgeable and astute I am? I’d only be talking to myself.

But there is one issue I would like to address, if only to the handful of Israelis who read my blog. And that concerns the terrible hatefulness and evil infesting the Likud-Israel Beitenu campaign against the religious candidates of the Jewish Home party and their Rabbis.

On Facebook, nationwide television, radio, and in newspaper ads, the Likud-Beitenu party has been viciously attacking the religious beliefs of the Jewish Home candidates and Rabbis in an ugly smear campaign that smacks of the worst kind of anti-Semitism. Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hevron, a giant in Torah, who has dedicated his life to teaching Torat Eretz Yisrael to two generations of students, and who is not even a Jewish Home supporter, is castigated in the Likud-Beitenu ads for an isolated remark he supposedly made in defense of Baruch Goldstein.

Rabbi Zalman Melamed, one of the main builders of the flourishing settlement of Beit-El, co-founder of Arutz 7, and the head of a half-dozen important Torah institutions, is condemned for advocating soldiers not to throw Jews out of their homes. Moti Ogev, a dedicated general in the Israeli Army is ridiculed for separated the boys from the girls during activities of the Bnei Akiva Youth Organization which he formerly headed.

Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who has worked for years to bring tens of thousands of Jews to visit Hevron, and raise funds for the Jewish settlement in the City of our Fathers, is chastised for expressing his opinion that male soldiers shouldn’t be forced to hear women sing.

Orit Struk, a mother of 10, who has fought to help Jewish settlers unjustly thrown into jail by the thugs of the Likud and the Left, is criticized for demanded that unlawful infractions of the Israel police, army, and court system, be corrected. And Rabbi Eli Dahan, a longtime upholder of Torah in the Chief Rabbinate, is mocked for being prejudiced against women, when in fact he has fought to punish husbands who refuse to grant battered wives a divorce. Not to mention the abuse that is directed at Naftali Bennett for stealing votes away from Bibi.

And, I have to add, in the face of this daily onslaught of hatred and slander, and this undisguised attack on the Torah, where is the voice of Moshe Feiglin, stalwart member of the Likud, soon-to-be member of the Knesset, champion of the national-religious camp in Israel – why don’t we hear him protesting as his party bashes religious Zionists and their Rabbis? Why is he suddenly as quiet as a mouse with a piece of cheese in its mouth? Why doesn’t he stand up like a true leader and decry this attack on the Torah? Why doesn’t he leave the Likud? And why is Bibi, the Prime Minister of all the Israeli People, allowing this slander to continue?

Voters beware! Don’t cast your vote for a party that condemns Torah values and honest and dedicated people who have led the way in the education of our youth and the settlement of Eretz Yisrael.

Nothing good will come from this, or from your vote for Likud-Israel Beitenu.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/voters-beware/2013/01/16/

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